Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Album Review: Deafheaven- New Bermuda

New Bermuda
***and1/2 out of *****
With 2013's Sunbather the San Fransisco duo Deafheaven  quite simply blew the fuck up, I mean they were used in an iPhone ad of all things, if that's not taking intense metal mainstream I am not sure what is. Their sound is a mix of pretty/raw, and on their newest release New Bermuda, they stay with that pairing and bring in even more sub-genre's to tag onto their sound, trumping their last release.

This group quite simply rings out the prettiest sounding metal riffs and drum slams. The juxtaposition can be glorious and the band shines brightest on opener "Brought To Water". Melodically it goes on a journey of slashes, soars and falls complete with a piano outro. That same style goes back and fourth between all the tracks here, all of which also go over or brush against the ten minute mark without feeling bloated.

"Baby Blue" starts sweet and begins to slowly build tension with crisscrossing guitar lines, rhythmic and melodic descents and neatly ends leaving the listener wanting more, which is especially noteworthy as the track runs over 10 minutes. The two closing songs on the disk lighten the load as both "Comeback" and "Gifts For The Earth" flirt with a delicateness, more inline with inde-rock/shoegaze while "Luna" front loads the heaviness (the hardest section of the album) blast beating away before a melodic break leads to what is supposed to be a soaring end, but the vocals of George Clarke make sure that never happens. 

Our biggest critique of the bands breakthrough was that the constant screaming style of Clarke was so one dimensional (full throttle all the time) that it lost it's impact over the course of the album. Nothing has really changed on that front, lyrical statements? Forget it. However, there does seem to be a better production/pairing and layering to the screams; musically it all sounds well matched from a a technical standpoint.   

A follow up record that actually improves on the super hyped Sunbather was not expected but that's exactly what happened. New Bermuda may even bring in more fans to Deafheaven's dense tunes, who knows if it will get them more commercials, but it will definitely satiate heavy desires.
We always want to like these guys more then we actually do, but this album may change things a bit as it worked better for us then Sunbather. It is a solid album but not truly a great one, oh and we jumped the gun a bit, giving them props for their excellent album art already.

Support the band, buy the album and peep some video:

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